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Plans to give more power to Essex

Politics / Fri 27th Nov 2015 at 12:13pm

PLANS to give people in Greater Essex a bigger say in how their local areas are governed are underway as part of the devolution deal with Government.

Transferring power and money away from Westminster to Greater Essex are part of the deal being explored by Councils, and authorities across the county have been meeting senior Government officials, to look at what this could mean for Greater Essex.

Cllr Howard Rolfe, Leader of Uttlesford District Council and Chairman of the Essex wide Leaders Group said: “The devolution agenda gives great opportunity for Greater Essex. Many people will have heard of the Northern Powerhouse initiative and the Greater Essex devolution project shares many similarities.

“There has been real recognition from Government that decisions that impact people and businesses are better made at a more local level.

“That is why in September, all 15 district, borough, city, county and unitary authorities in Greater Essex wrote to the Government to express our interest in exploring this opportunity and this is now starting to take shape with a view of signing a deal next year, if we can get a deal that is in the best interests of our residents.

“We want devolution to give us collectively more powers to have a say on the issues that affect us locally. That means having greater influence and control to ensure skills training supports our businesses and gives our residents productive high-value jobs, making sure we have the infrastructure to support economic growth and the housing that our communities need, having a more integrated transport system, and ensuring we are able to take advantage of the potential from digital.”

Cllr Rolfe added: “Ultimately the aim of getting more power from Government is to allow residents to have more say on the issues that affect us all.”

If approved by all Councils, a formal bid will go to Government to approval next year.

A website will be launched shortly to keep residents and businesses updated with progress on the project.

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